Yoga with Melissa 349: Back to School Yoga, Yoga for Your Spine

by Melissa West on

Yoga for Spine

yoga-with-melissa-349-yoga-for-spineEverything I learned about the importance of my spine I learned from my teachers at Esther Myers Yoga Studio. Your spines is your structural, nervous and energetic core of of your body. Esther Myer says, “When you connect with your spine, you are connected to the core of who you are, where you stand, and what you believe and value.”

Take a moment now as you are sitting here, to connect with your spine. Notice how it allows you to orient yourself in space. Notice how it gives you your position and sense of direction in relation to the ground underneath your tailbone and pelvis.

Feel your spine as you sit and allow it to support you fully. As you do so, you may notice that your muscular tension begins to let go. The skeletal support of your spine allows your muscles to release.

Spinal mobility and flexibility is also incredibly important. Through the practice of yoga postures, you move your spine through flexion, extension, rotation, lateral extension or side bending, rotation as well as axial extension or decompression as your vertically elongate your spine. In several of these movements your spine elongates and lengthens. Esther Myers describes your body being divided in half at your waist. Your lower half of your body being pulled into the ground through gravity like the roots of a plant (like we focused on last week with our grounding yoga class) and your upper body is released towards the sky like a stem. Esther Myers describes the elongation of your spine giving you a sense of direction and where you are going. Feel into your spine right now, ask your spine where it is leading you.

Your neck is an incredibly important part of your spine. It allows your head to turn in all directions, opening you to many possibilities, however the opposite is also true. Stiff necks which are incredibly common in our culture may also mean that you don’t know which way to turn or that you can only see the one option that is right in front of you. A flexible cervical spine therefore opens you up in a graceful and fluid way to let go of rigidity and embrace going with the flow.

Resource: Yoga and You by Esther Myers and Deb Shapiro Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Props Needed: Round Bolster, meditation cushion or chair,

Yoga Postures/Asanas: Reclined Side Bend with Bolster, Neck Shoulder and Hip Release, Cat Pose or Marjaryasana, Shankh Mudra or Shell Mudra, Kapalabhati Breath or Skull Shining Breath, Gate Pose or Parighasana, four movements of your neck, Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar, Warrior One or Virabhadrasana One, Warrior Two or Virabhadrasana Two Short Stance Esther Myers, Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana, Sphinx Pose or Salamba Bhujangasana, Fish Pose or Matsyasana, Easy Twist or parivrtta sukhasana, Child’s Pose or Balasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose

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Thank you for your donations: Peige, Tracy, Hannah

If you are receiving value from Yoga with Melissa you can make a monetary donation below.

You can also contribute of your time and influence the direction of the next Yoga with Melissa by answering the following question in the comments:

What class would you like to see next week on Yoga with Melissa for the Back to School Yoga series? A class on Strength or a Class on Flexibility? Write strength or Flexibility and let me know why that class is important to you in the comments. I will make my decision based on the most comments and also best reasons why 🙂

If you would like my Back to School List my list of 10 Essential Yoga Classes to get you through the back to school season then go to and scroll to the bottom and put your email address in

Today we focused on your spine. We have a whole series in our membership community for your back, spine, neck and nervous system.

Neck, Back and Nervous System RX
The series begins with a class that will help to overcome the time you spend in sitting, working at computers and interacting with hand-held devices that create immobility in your spine and move your spine out of its natural alignment. The first class benefits your nervous system, draws fluid into your intervertebral discs and benefits all parts of your back and neck and helps to build bone density. The second class in the series will offer modifications and variations for those with wrist, knee and neck issues as well as options for cat pose in a chair. The third class use the soft foam roller, the slo mo ball and the squash ball to help to keep your fascia hydrated, they help to maintain the mobility, integrity and resilience of your fascia by hydrating your fascia. The fourth class in the series will demonstrate how your nervous system can adapt much for easily when it feels safe. With the use of restorative yoga we can safely increase your range of motion in cat pose.The fifth yoga class uses acupressure and traditional chinese medicine to build your energy reserves and restore harmony and fluidity to your spine and entire being. The sixth yoga class provides options for each of the Ayurvedic doshas bringing balance to kapha, vata and pitta doshas. Finally a savasana for cat pose will allow you to move through your physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual bodies, your chakras, Goddess archetypes, moon phase and ends with a reading from the Radiance Sutras.

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If you would like my Back to School List my list of 10 Essential Yoga Classes to get you through the back to school season then put your email address below:

Weekly Yoga with Melissa #349 Photos of Yoga Pose



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